Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will lead the two teams that will play the Women’s T20 Challenge game, the BCCI announced on Tuesday (May 15). The match, featuring a host of Indian and overseas women cricketers, will be played ahead of the Qualifier 1 match of IPL 2018 on May 22, at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The match will begin at 2:00 PM IST and the rules are likely to be based on the guidelines for the IPL, including a maximum allowance of four overseas cricketers in the eleven.
Rajeev Shukla, chairman of the IPL, confirmed that New Zealand’s Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine, Australian cricketers Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney, and Danni Wyatt and Daniel Hazell from England, will be part of the exhibition game.
“Even as IPL continues to roll like a well-oiled machine, over the last couple of weeks, efforts were made to put in place a similar structure for women cricketers. We were in talks with several Boards and I am pleased with the outcome. This special game will be played at Mumbai’s iconic Wankhede Stadium and will be telecast live in India and across the world,” Shukla stated in a media release issued by the BCCI.
“We are excited to announce the first-of-its-kind exhibition match involving our women cricketers. BCCI has been pulling out all stops to promote and nurture women’s cricket and this is a small yet significant step towards a prospective league involving women’s stars in the future. The IPL is the biggest and most popular league in the world and it has been a long-time endeavour to have a women’s league that can match the exuberance of IPL,” said Diana Edulji, former India captain and member of the Committee of Administrators.
“Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy among others rubbing shoulders with foreign stars will be a unique experience and something that we have not witnessed here in India,” she added.